AFC Youth Academy – A Look At The Future

Over the last few days we have discussed the more recent games and talked a lot about how things are with the club currently so I thought it would be nice to have a little debate about our potential future stars and have a glimpse at what our famed youth academy has in store for us. To me our youth academy looks very exciting but I do have a couple of burning questions that I hope you are able to help clarify.

Now I will hold my hands up and say that I am not the foremost expert on the youth academy but do try and keep a keen eye on it. I am sure that there will be comments today from those who have a more in depth knowledge than me on the academy players. The intention in this post is not to lecture to and to try and educate you on the subject but more to open up a discussion point for the day. I am hoping that the various comments will bring further knowledge so that we all end the day more enlightened.

Before I go further I do have one question that tends to play on my mind regarding our youth academy. It seems to me that we historically don’t see many young players graduate to our first team that have been with us from the very beginning. When you think about most of the youngsters that have (or will) become top class, the majority seem to have started their early youth career elsewhere. I can only come up with Ashley Cole, Keiran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere as top players that were with us from the beginning and wonder why this is so. Are we only excellent at finishing their development after a certain age and is there something wrong with our youth training in the younger age group, or is it simply a numbers game that you are looking for that rare natural gem that could be anywhere, and their early training is only a small part of what constitutes a world class player? I guess it is the nature and nurture argument.

The current squad for me is already very good but I also believe that we will buy significant players in the summer transfer market. There still seem to be a couple of I’s to dot and T’s to cross in the squad to balance it out and bring it up to the top level, and I can see this happening in the summer. The current squad and the potential further quality additions to it leaves me very excited about where Arsenal are heading, but if you then look further at some of the quality young players coming through the youth ranks, that could be added to what we already have and what may be coming in, it becomes more exciting still.

If we are considering potential transfers in the summer for a certain position I feel it is always relevant to look and see if we have the players coming that could take up that role first. That is the Arsenal and the Arsene way and I for one would not change that. Opinions are often flung out there as to how many players we need to buy to make this team fully competitive but, it could be that we have a quality player that is earmarked for the first team in 2 years, so any transfer activity in that position may have to be of the right age to bridge that 2 year gap.

For instance we need a striker but then where do we sit with Benik Afobe and Chuba Akpom. I was very impressed with Akpom in the pre-season games and actually thought he would feature more for us this season but for whatever reason he hasn’t. Do we now need to add a young high quality striker to our ranks or do we already have one and therefore only need an older more experienced striker to bridge a 2 year gap? We may need another right back if Sagna leaves but how good or ready is Bellerin? Some would like to have Cesc back and while I can see that argument have any of you seen young Dan Crowley in action?

So over to you A.A’ers. Who excites you the most from our academy? Who do you think will make it into the first team and when? In the mean time here is some footage of our 6-1 win over Peterborough. Akpom looks good but I think you will all get a little sense of excitement about a certain young Dan Crowley.

Written by GoonerB

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148 Responses to AFC Youth Academy – A Look At The Future

  1. richhudsonsmith says:

    The video isn’t the best quality, but, am I right in thinking there is one player involved in pretty much every single goal, and that young lad is Dan Crawley?

  2. Rasp says:

    Hi Rich, yes the video shows an exceptional performance by Dan Crowley, he plays a part in every goal. Unfortunately shortly after this game he sustained an injury and was out for several weeks. He is a fantastic prospect if we can nurture him and bring him through slowly.

  3. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well done GoonerB.

    Gibbs is 50:50 as to whether he is one of ours having joined from the disbanded Wimbledon academy when they moved to MK when he was 14. He couldn’t go to Mk due to the one hour travel rule.

    That one hour travel rule has now been disbanded but must have affected our ability to acquire the country’s best talent. When people praise Southampton you have to factor in that they have the cherry pick of all the talent in an hours travel, whereas we have to compete with a vast number of clubs.

    And it would appear we have done better than most other London based clubs I recent years at sending them on their way to the first team.

    It is all about luck though, can the player coming through usurp a player already in the first team? If you have too talented a player they will look elsewhere for first team football, if you’re lucky to have a soon to be vacated position in front of you, you can find yourself lucky enough to make the leap when other more talented players have been denied by a player in front of them who is relatively young themselves.

    Of the bunch at the moment Crowley looks to be the best self developed product, can Aneke or Akpom stake a claim for first team football? I hope so.

  4. Gööner In Exile says:

    Wow the English FA could learn from Vietnamese FA….who’d have think it

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/26464186

    28 game ban for a player who broke a leg of an opponent.

  5. Gööner In Exile says:

    Also has to pay the injured players medical bills

  6. Gööner In Exile says:

    The tackle

  7. O'zicky says:

    I’ve not really seen him play but considering the comments of other readers i believe the young boy is a talent in making. But have you guys seen Olson play? I watched him play during nextgen series last season and i think he was awesome. What do you think my fellow gunners?

  8. Vinay says:

    I think the 2 most exciting players in the youth team for me are Dan Crowley and Thomas Eisfield, i was really surprised thomas dint get to feature much this season. I think this 2 are the real stars in waiting.

  9. Vinay says:

    Thomas is not from the academy i know but i just generally meant these 2 are the best prospects we have.

  10. GoonerB says:

    Cheers for the early comments guys. I hope there will be more footage of players and comments throughout the day. I believe there is a better quality version out there of that Crowley performance with commentary and closer camera views but will need to rely on someone more techy than me to find it and put it up.

  11. GoonerB says:

    BTW, Crowley I believe came from Villa and I believe they are rather peeved about it. There will be some form of compensation for Villa from us that will be decided by an adjudicating body, but it will likely be peanuts relative to his ability.

    If Crowley becomes as good as the early signs indicate I would actually hope that Arsenal do the honourable thing and go a bit further and offer Villa something more further down the line. They don’t have to obviously, and I may be alone in my thinking on this subject, but I feel if we want to see better quality home grown players for the national side in the future, then clubs like Villa should not be discouraged from continuing to produce them. If they start to feel like there is no point and stop investing in a high quality youth academy then everyone suffers.

    I just feel it would be a good honourable gesture that would show a touch of class.

  12. kelsey says:

    GoonerB

    This is not something I have a great knowledge about but as with so many teams the amount of kids who go through the youth set up and finish up as regulars in the first team,is very small.

    Even though GIE mentioned Southampton geographically there aren’t many top clubs within one hour travel (I think) and they keep producing excellent players,as did West Ham years ago.

    At least those who don’t eventually make it at Arsenal can grind out a career at a lower league club.

  13. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers GB

    Have taken my eye of the youngster teams the last few years so dont really know much. Come to think of it, probably know next to little, or even nothing.

    However, I have seen that video of Dan Crowley. Breathtaking sublime skills, majestic balance, superb range of passing, fleet of foot, composed finishing. Surely a superstar in the making.

    Its important not to get carried away though. So I wont.

  14. Hey says:

    One player we do not often hear about is Kris Olsson, but I can assure you he certainly looks the part. One of the best players in our youth setup and I for one am really hoping he makes it at the Arse. I know I am not alone in seeing him as an Arteta replacement.

    He came in the same summer as Toral, Bellerin and Gnabry, but the much talked about move of the Barca boys and Gnabry’s impressive early days with Arsenal, coupled with the fact Kris was struggling with the phisicality of the game meant we did not know/hear much about him. Zelalem’s high profile breakthrough dindn’t help either afterwards.

    Olsson has immensely improved in the last 18 months as he was one of the key performers in last years NextGen series campaign and this season he is captaining the U21/U19 sides.
    He is a delightful player to watch and possesses all the ingredients to become one the best in the world in his position.

  15. chas says:

    Cheers GoonerB

    I think it’s really difficult to judge which kids are going to make it before they even reach puberty. So much changes between 12 and 16;you could end up with a trainee accountant or an emo goth serial killer. 🙂

    This is the Arsenal Player version of that Crowley performance…..
    (it looks like he only signed last summer and came to our notice when Villa beat our u18s 6-1 in February 2013)

  16. chas says:

    Here’s some Kris Olsson from last season….

  17. Hey says:

    GoonerB, you raise a good point about taking into consideration what we have in tne academy when looking for new signings. That is precisely the reason it always upsets me when I hear rumors about us signing say Morata, when we have Afobe, Akpom, Sanogo or even Campbell, players who are all around the same age or slightly younger and who have just as much potential.

    So instead of bringing in another player to nurture why not look at what we already have? Why not buy instead a world class established player who can hit the ground running while the younger ones are growing and maturing into the next in that spot?

    Of course Morata is one of the great UP AND COMING strikers around but what do we do of Afobe, Akpom etc..?? They are certainly not less talented!

  18. GoonerB says:

    A good point Hey. Maybe we can accommodate both Morata and Akpom. If they both turn out to be as good as anticipated it may well be the likes of Ollie that has to make way in the next 2-3 seasons.

    Thanks for the footage Chas. I knew it would be you that put it up and you I think you secretly knew that my message was aimed at you. Olsson also looks very tidy.

    I am so glad you are not getting carried away Terry. An out of control Mancini is a very difficult thing to deal with.

    Off for a while but will check back later.

  19. joseph says:

    if gibbs aint arsenals then how are puyol, inesta, pedro, busquets, cuenca, oier olazabal are not barcelona talents… so give it a rest. @Gööner In Exile, there is no 50:50… cant be one rule for barca and another for arsenal

  20. Hey says:

    Same thing at right back, a well covered position in our youths. I really hope we manage to keep Sagna because, by the time he retires, we have Jenkinson, Bellerin, and Tafari Moore to come in. What do we do of those three if a young right back is brought in? I know we need cover in all positions, but these players are quality despite what some may say.

    Btw Tafari Moore looks like a young version of Sagna for those who don’t know him, something of a combination between Bellerin and Jenko (athletic and awsome on the ball, he is very good in transition between attack and defense, links up well with his teammates) and at only 16 he established himself as a regular for the u21s when Bellerin was on loan.

  21. GunnerN5 says:

    Gooner B

    We have one chap who was cleaning the first teams boots when he was a fifteen year old and now there is a statue of him outside of the ground.

    I give you Mr. Arsenal one Tony Adams.

  22. kelsey says:

    A statement on the FA website read: “Following initial scans carried out by The FA on Wednesday night, further investigation by Arsenal’s medical team has discovered a crack to a small bone in Wilshere’s left foot — the navicular, an area of his foot which has not been previously injured. Wilshere will now require a period of approximately six weeks’ rehabilitation, before embarking on regaining his match fitness.”

    I bloody new it.The gods are against us.

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Here’s an example of just how much times have changed.

    Over 5 thousand years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel “Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead you to the Promised Land”
    Around 75 years ago, (when welfare started) Roosevelt said
    “Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses and light up your Camels as this is the Promised Land”
    Today congress has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the price of Camels and mortgaged away the Promised Land.
    Last night I got so depressed thinking about Health Care Plans, the economy, the various wars, lost jobs, savings, social Security, retirement funds, etc. that I decided to call a Suicide Hotline.
    I was asked to press 1 for English then I was connected to a call center in Pakistan – when I told them I was suicidal they got very excited and asked me if I could drive a truck!

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    Kelsey, I don’t want to crack you up but that sounds like a bad break………………..

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    Seriously that was caused in a one on one tackle but the Danes studs were showing and went into Wilshere’s ankle.

    Kelsey didn’t you know that we are covered by “Sods Law” not “Gods Law”

  26. kelsey says:

    GN5,
    nice joke 🙂

    But you know what an Arsenal 6 weeks is .Isuppose part of the transfer funds will go to a new wing in the medical recouperation centre.

  27. kelsey says:

    They called for a stretcher,Jack was crying with pain, then why take the risk of letting him play on if there was any doubt. I don’t know the facts but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that going on back on might have aggrevated the initial injury .

  28. kelsey says:

    It’s getting a bit like the film Zulu .See how many are left standing to fight against the enemy(oppo)

  29. Hey says:

    Shit news about Jack 😦

  30. GunnerN5 says:

    I hear that the Arsenal medical center has revolving doors and that you have to take a number to be seen by a Doctor.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Kelsey looks like it’s just you, I and hey today…………..

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    Is this siesta time on AA??

  33. LB says:

    And suddenly my enthusiasm returns………………..

  34. Hey says:

    LB you happy Jacks out?? Just asking..

    😥

  35. LB says:

    We will be forced to play a totally different system.

    Wilshere will either be replaced by the Ox in central midfield, a player who offers far more of a goal scoring threat or the Ox will go out wide and Cazorla should fill in, once again offering far more of a goal scoring threat.

    The last time this happened was against spuds last season when we were beaten at their place, Wilshere got injured, the system was changed and we went on one of our best runs in recent seasons.

    I actually think we now, once again, stand a chance of winning the league.

    Don’t get me wrong, or should I say don’t get me too wrong, I don’t dislike Wilshere, he is a squad player filling in for Ramsey, what I dislike is his status. That’s to say, I believe he is treated as someone so important to the club that he is played at times when he shouldn’t be………but now that is no longer possible.

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    I don’t want to appear to be downplaying Jack’s ability but his consistency has been left wanting (maybe due to his multiple injuries) and he rarely makes any significant contributions to the team.

    It’s fortunate that we have depth in our midfield and I tend to agree with LB that the combination of Santi and the Ox will more than fill the void.

    When, or if, is Ramsey due to restart training?

  37. Hey says:

    I too would have taken Jack out of the team/squad he’s too inconsistent and frustrating at times. It’s just that I don’t like seeing our players out injured (Kos also a doubt for Sat).
    But I agree that, for now at least, he shouldn’t be an automatic starter when we have Flamini, an energetic Ox or even Rosicky who can fill in there!

  38. Hey says:

    I guess now we don’t have to worry about that 😦

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GoonerB

    The reason I like this post so much, is that being a crap supporter, I know nothing about our yoofs. So thank you, as it has unearthed a mine of great info for me in the comments.

    I totally agree with Hey about the reasons it’s so important to get Bac signed up.

    Now, for my heartiest laugh of the day, who could say something like this:

    “Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere basically ruled out for the season. Now The Gunners can go on and win the title”.

    Oh, and welcome back LB 🙂

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In my opinion, we need three more injuries to have a crack at the Triple 🙂

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It’s actually a cracking theory.

    If, like me, you think Arsene makes the odd stinker of a team selection, then the solution lies in removing the problem element from the equation.

    I am now a devotee of the selected injury process. Harsh but fair 🙂

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’ll return when you’ve considered and then agreed with my policy.

  43. LB says:

    Who indeed could write such a thing?

    Perhaps, someone who supports Arsenal rather than Jack Wilshere?

    Someone who believes that he is slow, one footed and holds onto the ball for longer than he should?

    Someone who thinks other midfield players offer a far more of a goal scoring threat?

    The list is long……..

  44. LB says:

    Silver linings come is all shapes and sizes.

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Could be such a cruel, but telling, poll.
    Who would you most like ruled out for the rest of the season? 🙂

    LB
    How was the cycling trip? Steep, I’m guessing.

  46. Hey says:

    Is everyone on a holiday?

  47. LB says:

    Hi Micky

    I am never happy when any Arsenal player gets injured but there is a choice in this case: do we go with the idea that..

    “Arsenal’s tittle chances have been dealt a further blow”

    Or

    Wilshere’s loss forces Arsenal to change system.

    I am a glass half full kind of guy, I am not sure if that puts me into Rasp’s category A or category B 😉

    Cycling was great fun: a bunch of middle aged men coughing and spluttering as we struggled up steep hills on bikes that cost more than the cars we drive…….love it.

  48. Hey says:

    Btw I’m quietely hoping and praying Jack the lad can overcome his injuries and mature into becoming the great #10 he’s always promised to be 😉
    We all know the elements and potential are there

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh crikey, Hey.
    Please, please don’t set LB off on the JW No10 routine 🙂

    Glad you had a good time LB, although my idea of hell.

  50. Big Raddy says:

    GB. Good read and like you I have little real knowledge of the youth teams. I know the names but never seen them play 90 mins.

    Crowley looks one hell of a prospect but who knows if he will be as good when faced with men.

    We have some fine young players of whom Gnabry is standout player. I predict a glittering future for our German flier.

    LB. Good to see you back and your first comment didn’t disappoint 🙂

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Talking of mountains LB, did you catch up on the early morning news. On Tuesday, I’m planning to go up a mountain called Wank. How cool is that. Not so cool, will be that other commuters will be one-wayers armed with skis and heavy footwear, whereas I will have my Arsenal scarf and sneekers 🙂

  52. GoonerB says:

    Thank-you to the little hardcore on here today for the comments. It has been quiet.

    Hey, you have made some excellent points today and seem to be quite well informed on the youth players so I hope you bring us more of your insightful views on future posts. I didn’t know anything about Tafari Moore but he also sounds very exciting. Regarding Bellerin Hey I saw some footage of him that I believe Evonne put up a few posts ago (maybe in a capital one cup game) where he came on and replaced Arteta in midfield. He actually looked very good in this role so maybe his long-term future is not in the RFB slot. What do you think Hey, especially if Moore looks so good?

    Regarding Jack I think it was Agger (although will stand corrected if not) that did for him and I believe he was off the floor and over the ball with his studs up. It was a straight red in anything other than a friendly. I know it will not happen but I feel we should seriously be taking a lead from the Vietnamese, and have Agger banned for as long as Wilshere is out. Our player injured by a bad challenge, so weakening our squad or the run in, and by a player who will continue to play for a main rival in the EPL. You can’t make it up how unbalanced and unjust that is. If you were a conspiracy theorist I am sure you could come up with something on that one.

    Micky I agree with everything you say obviously, even the madder and more obscure suggestions. In fact that is most of them isn’t it? Oh well I am happy to be a fully signed up member of the Micky madhouse.

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy
    I found his first comment both disappointing and distasteful in equal measure 🙂
    Hey Ho.

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GoonerB 🙂

    Actually, before I smiley face you, what do you mean by obscure suggestions? Surely not the removal of Ollie, Nic and Yaya, thus ensuring AW is forced into playing a highly attractive and effective mobile front line?

    Double smiley face

  55. Hey says:

    Ultimately, as the manager said, the academy is where we should look first when adding to the squad, and we have some very promising youngdters. The money should only be used to keep our best players and to get the cream of the talent in Europe.

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. You know what I meant 🙂

    I am saddened for JW. If ever there was reason for AW to stop the lad playing for England in friendlies ……

  57. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Exactly Hey.

    Add only better than we already have in the First XI.

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn I wish you were tooling along to Munich Raddy.

    I’ll send you a rude pic 🙂

  59. MickyDidIt89 says:

    On a serious note, of course I’m sad for Jack, but we must see it as an opportunity. Happily, many feel we have as good, if not better, options.

    Theo’s injury on the other hand gets nothing but a 😦

  60. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky that sound like an outstanding mountain to climb the more I think about it the more it seems to grow. Is Mt, Virginia close by?

  61. GunnerN5 says:

    Some people are unbelievable idiot did you hear about the gang of witches who broke into a blood bank and stole a thousand pints of blood. Police are still hunting for the clots.

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GN5
    I was looking at a Munich Tourist Board site this morning, and saw for 50 Euros you could get a return train, cable car and day ski pass to these Mountains. I was tempted as they say the view is staggering, then I saw you could go up one called Wank, and being juvenile, I was gripped by the idea.

  63. Didit was exhausted at the hard peak of The Wank.
    All down hill after that, lifeless and shrivelled to be frank !.
    But he looked Gerry in the eye and raised his chest up.
    And proudly boasted, 2 World Wars and 1 World Cup !
    Then ran to the Hotel and gave Raddies Bishop a Spank !.

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ROLF Cockie.

    Frankly, I was dreading you noticing me mountain 🙂

  65. RA says:

    That’s a GoonerB bloody Good Post. Excellent. 🙂

    I used to go regularly to as many youth team matches as I could partly to see the young wannabes but also that there was a ‘back to basics’ experience for supporters, far away from the razzmatazz of the first team.

    The good news for me is that it is likely that the U 21’s is likely to be shown on BT TV next season. I would vote in favour of that! 🙂

  66. You must admire our passion and conviction to top the injury league, we must have an unassailable lead and surely the title is ours !……do we get a trophy for it and is there a Champions Injury League ?.

  67. RA says:

    I would not like to come between MickyDiddy and his furry nemesis, CockieDoodle – no seriously, I wouldn’t! 🙂

    However, that must be a lonely mountain if it is forced into – you know – and then get named for it to boot.

  68. LB says:

    GoonerB

    Good idea for a post. The management will have you on weekly youth patrol before you know it.

    I think if you Google: “Crowley signs for Arsenal” you might get the impression as I did that Arsenal paid over one million to Villa for his signature.

  69. Hahaha Tricky Micky…….I toned it down quite a bit and there`s so much more I could write but I am on best behaviour nowadays !. 🙂

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey Cockie. Best behaviour eh. What happened, up before the beak and a good thrashing was it?

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, off to watch a movie. Till tomorrow.

  72. Hey says:

    @GB
    Hector Bellerin was acttually a right winger at Barcelona and since he came to us he’s always played at RB. I heard he was sometimes used as a left wingback at Watford (where he was on loan) he also played DM for them I think.

    He’s very tidy on the ball, tricky with lightning pace and great in the final third. Like Olsson he’s massively improved since joining us especially in defence and phisically too.

    I don’t know where he’ll end up in the long term but I’ve mostly seen him play at right back, and he looks very much like the RB version of Jordy Alba (reminds me of him anyway) but not as good yet.
    Though, his only appearance with the first team was in DM, and was it not for the u19s European championships we would have seen him in pre season.
    He looks a versatile player anyway so could be very useful.

  73. I watched this game and Bellerin stood out for us, but there was a player on Manshafters team who I thought………..he looks the biz !……it was Januzaj !.

  74. Hey says:

    Agger go burn in hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He didit on purpose thats for sure! :(:(:(

  75. Too late now, but did anyone know that there were free tickets for our FA Youth Cup Quarter Final game against Everton @ The Emirates on this coming Monday night KO 7pm going for free to all card members !. Passed @ 17;00 this evening, now £4 Adults and £2 concessions !.
    Expect a bigger crowd than the Spuds have ever had at home in the EPL !

  76. Gööner In Exile says:

    Haha Cockie.

    Joseph I couldn’t give a toss about who or who isn’t considered a Barca academy product, I was just mentioning Gibbs as like Crowley now and Zelalem they arrived at the home of football for their finishing school.

    As of this season we and any other PL team can go to any other academy and pay a flat fee to acquire the player….no compensation no arbitration. All to do with how Academy funding is now in the hands of the EPL (as part of a deal with the FA) and the EPL decided that if clubs like Crewe want to continue to get funding their players can be lifted away for minimum compensation. I think it’s a terrible thing but it kind of passed off unnoticed, so PL clubs can do away with their academies and the hard work of developing players.

    To keep the funding the academy clubs must also open their doors at training to any EPL clubs wanting to scout.

    I’ll try and find some links.

  77. Gööner In Exile says:

    Hey do you normally post under another name or is this your debut on AA?

    Very good comments today.

    Disappointed with Jacks injury the tackle was unsavoury but Jack had no reason to go for the loose ball in a friendly. As GM asked on Twitter would Agger have gone in like that had it been Sterling or Sturridge nipping in? But as Kim Backsgone is now fit we at least have cover and Rambo does not necessarily have to be rushed back.

    Disappointed with Jack further as don’t understand why he played on, he was in pain he has to listen to his body and be responsible. He was going to picked for the World Cup and now with a minimum 6 weeks out he may not be going at all I suppose that’s a blessing for Arsenal along with Theo for 14/15 season.

  78. GoonerB says:

    Micky, you and I are definitely on the same trek with playing a more mobile and pacy front 3 at times. I hope that Mount Wank goes well. Be careful of blindness! Snow blindness that is obviously.

    LB, £1m would seem reasonable but may look like peanuts in another couple of years.

    Cockie on his best behaviour? I can hear all those West country girls sobbing in inconsolable grief as I write.

    GIE, I saw that 2.09. Very strange comment. I was going to wade in on your behalf but am reliably informed that even the BFG has to look up to stare you straight in the belly-button so thought “he’s got it covered”.

  79. Gööner In Exile says:

    GoonerB reports of my height are greatly exaggerated…..not my waist line though 🙂

  80. Gööner In Exile says:

    One player I always had high hopes for was Ignasi Miquel, he has been on loan this season at Leicester and managed 11 appearances, at 22 it’s time he started getting regular first team football. And would at least provide an extra body at centre half should TV5 leave as expected.

  81. GunnerN5 says:

    Seems that we are waiting so often for the return of our crocked players that we consider them to be new signings. Next season will be Diaby (for a game or two) Ramsey, Walcott and now potentially Wilshere. It doesn’t bear thinking about how good we could have been this season……………

  82. GunnerN5 says:

    Oops I forgot to mention that theses injuries are all Wenger’s fault.

  83. GoonerB says:

    GN5 I am nominating you to become Arsenal’s new fitness coach but first I must ask have you got more shapely legs than Vik Akers?

  84. Hey says:

    @GIE
    I love reading AA as you can always find some interesting and thought provoking posts. What I like most are the insightful comments and discussions where posters arent arguing and insulting each other…well maybe i’ve seen one or two trolls but thats about it.

    I already commented on here before, under another name I think, but this is the first time I’ve consistently done so.

  85. Hey says:

    Ox/Theo on the wings
    Ozil as a false 9
    Jack in the 10 role
    Aaron + DM…i’d love Pogba (i know i know)
    Defense

    What a team that could be!

  86. Hey says:

    …id try it anyway…

    I know im not the manager…

    Good night people!..

  87. LB says:

    GB

    I was responding to this:

    GoonerB says:

    March 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    “BTW, Crowley I believe came from Villa and I believe they are rather peeved about it. There will be some form of compensation for Villa from us that will be decided by an adjudicating body, but it will likely be peanuts relative to his ability.”

    Arsenal paid one million which for a fifteen year old is not peanuts.

    I certainly agree that everything indicates that he will be worth far more in the future but if what I have read is true Villa did not get ripped off.

  88. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well Hey make sure you come again and comment always good to have new commenters, even if you’re not actually new 😀

  89. Gööner In Exile says:

    Cracking banner…..new fans will be asking if the yellow ribbon is some kind of charity thing 😀

  90. Gööner In Exile says:

    Just doing some idle googling and found this version of one of my favourite Arsenal songs:

    Who’s that team they call the Arsenal?
    Who’s that team we all adore?

    They’re the boys in red and white,
    and they fight with all their might,
    and they’re out to show the world just how to score!”

    How times have changed, I prefer the more recent version of the last two lines.

  91. Gööner In Exile says:

    According to Twatter the first openly gay PL footballer will give an exclusive interview to the Sun on Sunday.

    I do hope it’s by choice and not because the paper has come to them and said ” we have these pics/this story and we are going to run it on Sunday…….”

    The story is he played for England last night. I wish this didnt have to be such a big deal but clearly it still is.

    Should footballers personal lives really important or subject to scrutiny? Surely if they are not doing anything illegal they should be allowed some privacy ?

  92. chas says:

    Would any footballer in their right mind come out unless they were forced? I very much doubt it.

    We all pretend the country isn’t homophobic, racist, sexist etc etc but the British press, media and advertising prove every single day that that is a lie.

  93. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas embarrassingly you are probably correct.

    Twitter responses ranged from….I’m guessing x y or z. Almost as if they can tell from appearance to are any bookmakers taking bets on it.

    One of the leaders in the Twatter poll seems to be Henderson….wonder if people are misinterpreting Fergie’s book and the comment about his “gait may cause him problems later in his career.” Followed by Ox, Cahill and Smalling.

  94. Gööner In Exile says:

    Better twatter things:

  95. Gööner In Exile says:

    Quite a good article on our present position by LittleDutchVA on Arseblog

    http://arseblog.com/2014/03/go-away-ned-ryerson/

    Actually reminded me of something I wanted to mention earlier on GoonerB’s post today the importance of young dependable players who are happy to be part of the squad, I normally make a comparison to Brown, Fletcher, O’Shea etc at United. They were not egotistical enough to demand first team football but they racked up a lot of medals whilst just being bit part players for United.

  96. arnie says:

    GoonerB: Fantastic uplifting post. 😀 😀 😀 and great discussion, all. 😀 Superb videos as well. Really enjoyed the discussions even if I was not able to participate. 😦 A dampener about Jack. But let us see what steel the team is made of. Personally, I am not averse to The Ox as DM.

  97. GunnerN5 says:

    GoonerB: re your 9:16pm

    I’ve only got one leg – but it’s a really nice one.

  98. GunnerN5 says:

    GB;

    This comment is to round the days comment total off to an even 100. Goodnight all.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    MOOORNING KELSEEEY

    HAVE WE OVERSLEPT TODAY DEAR

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    As for you Evonne, stop sulking, there’s a game to be won tomorrow, so get yer hair done and the slap on. You’ll feel better.

  101. evonne says:

    No I won’t dearest! I have people viewing the house at 12:30!!! My fault, I thought it was a 3pm kick off!! So I will be sitting outside in the car full of black dogs and mud

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh, ok then, “dearest” 🙂

    Nice pic Chas. We’ve got some white deer nearby. Not albinos though.

  103. evonne says:

    I don’t like white animals

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Golden Labs are the dog’s swingers of the canine world, no?

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    honkies 🙂

  106. chas says:

  107. chas says:

    I said the country was racist

  108. evonne says:

    what do you mean, labs are batty?

    So Jack will not play in Brazil, terrible. He is young, will play in the next world cup; it is far worse for Theo. Very upsetting. I knew it was a serious injury when I saw Jack’s tears. He knew too. Cannot even blame this one on our medical stuff

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Didn’t Justin Fashanu “out”?

  110. chas says:

  111. kelsey says:

    Afternoon all.

    No Micklemouse I was up at 2.30a.m. did some correspondence then went back to bed.

    Hodgeson has said he won’t take any players to Brazil who are or have been or are recovering from injury.

    What’s all this about a an England player that played on Wednesday and is going to come out and say he is gay.

    Great idea for a post .List each player that played and give reasons who you think it is. The winner gets a date with him coutesy of AFC

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Amazing banner. More incredible, is how obvious it is that’s Tone.

  113. evonne says:

    I am not the country, gorgeous 🙂 I am a suspect foreigner – had to prove my identity 3 times last week, and not just the driver’s licence, oh no – passport, utility bills, bank statements…..I was sure they would ask for fingerprints. And that’s just to buy a house!!! I cannot remember anything similar 15 years ago

    Missing the game tomorrow might be a good omen – every Everton game I attend we drew.

  114. chas says:

    kelsey
    I’m not sure your competition idea helps in convincing the player it’s ok to come out.

  115. evonne says:

    Kelsey – it is John Terry, that twat would do anything for publicity

  116. chas says:

    I think Justin Fashanu’s experience would discourage most people from a similar course of action.

  117. chas says:

    I had to do the same, evonne, when I sold mine. It’s the law.

  118. evonne says:

    gorgeous – do we have any pics of John Terry the trannie 🙂

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne

    Being perfectly honest, you sound like a spy to me 🙂

  120. evonne says:

    Did you? Fecking hell, it is unbelievable! I am not even sulking here, I am completely rushed off my feet with this house thingy. It wasn’t that complex before, I know I was younger and healthier, but still – it is awful. No wonder you were stressed out and didn’t want to flirt with me 🙂

  121. kelsey says:

    Oh by the way

    Why do we kick off at 12.45

    and the score will be 2-1

  122. evonne says:

    Micky – of course I am spy! Nobody could really be as silly as me, it is all a pretence 🙂
    you are safer picking up a fight with a pittbull then with letting me on a secret! Ask Peaches 🙂

  123. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne

    Chas told me he’s given up on you, and flogged his “right to flirt ticket” to Ant.

    Kelsey
    12:45 will be TV money speaking and 2-1, no chance. On the back of last weekend, Everton are going to be on the wrong end of a good thrashing.

  124. kelsey says:

    I am trying to raise some money against one of my properties to buy a small house in the country and the main criteria stopping me is that though I have paid all taxes due, national insurance for us every year and company taxesto the Inland Revenue, and my wife frequently came back to the UK, is that we have to be permently back anything from one to three years permentlly before they consider our only option, a buy to let.
    Age doesn’t help and bloody credit ratings is another criteria.
    It’s mad. I don’t owe anyone anything,never had a credit card,but oh no, you have to be heavily in debt to borrow.

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey

    So true about credit ratings. Last year I decided to get a couple of credit cards simply to boost ratings. Like you, no debts and never had a credit card, so crap rating. Nuts.

    You don’t like debt and live within your means, you’re buggered.

  126. kelsey says:

    Are you around anytime today,Micky ?

  127. evonne says:

    oh dear, that’s a scary photo!

    Micky – no thank you. both Chas and Ant are high maintenance, I cannot afford them. Sharing medication costs with Kels is much more appealing 🙂

  128. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey i had problems getting a mortgage, the banks didn’t like my Company Director status…..

    So i went to a Building Society, so much more pleasant to deal with, almost old fashioned in that i sat down for an interview……put cards on the table they gave a decision in 15 minutes after a call to the underwriter.

    Ones i could recommend are Leeds Building Society and Nationwide, having had dealings with both recently. Don’t want any of those owned by banks ones.

  129. evonne says:

    “Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung jailed for six years” – what does this mean for the fans of BFC?

  130. evonne says:

    and I can recommend an excellent mortgage broker, who does the borrowing for me. I am with Leeds,

    See Kelsey and Micky – you might not get a mortgage living within your means, but you will not go to jail like in Hong Kong

  131. kelsey says:

    GIE

    Age is against me.

    Natiowide trading as The Mortgage Works are the best rates fixed for two years and will give an interest only up to age 90 but you need to back over here for 3 years. Me boen and bred in London 🙂

    Banks are useless as they are invariably tied to one lender only.

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey
    Off now. Probably around pm.

  133. chas says:

    I’d imagine LB might have something to say about this…..

  134. kelsey says:

    I own all my properties outright and want to borrow 50% of the current value of one,so where’s the fecking risk.

  135. RA says:

    Kelsey/Mickey,

    Have you considered opening a current account with (say, Nationwide) because as I recall, you can apply for a credit card as part of that system.

    It would need you to ‘use’ the account by regularly paying money into the account – you can still make your usual withdrawals etc,

    I have had nothing to do with any bank or building society, and I have no special knowledge about this, so I could be wrong, but a discrete on-line inquiry would not hurt.

  136. evonne says:

    RA – I don’t think Kels and Micky have problems getting credit cards; their problem is spending more than they are allowed (tight gits) and thus improving their credit rating. If you cannot pay for the card, you incur penalties, charges, etc and banks love you for it. You pay for everything on time, you are not good to them.

    My credit rating is fantastic – I always pay fines, interest charges and are constantly overdrawn; banks love me 🙂

  137. Gööner In Exile says:

    Incredible Kelsey as you say no risk for the bank/building soc.

    But I guess very little reward either and despite the crunch and the recession banks are still more interested in what the computer says than what the actual situation is.

    Only other thought is one of those offset mortgages but I guess the criteria is the criteria.

    Ooooh what if you formed a Limited Company (one for Investmenf properties) and purchased the house from you personally, and then borrowed in the company with personal guarantees against other properties.

    Long winded but could be a way forward…..talk to RA as he is well versed in the tax implications, and as TMHT has a good relationship with HMRC and dodgy clients ask him too. 😀

  138. kelsey says:

    The problem is that if you speak to three brokers about the same product,they give you three different answers, and I am not so sure how independant they are.

    Some need proof of income and won’t take current rental income or pensions into consideration. Others only want the current rental income and some give you an illstration without naming the lender,others charge as little as 295.00 fees others 1.5% of the loan required.

    As I said my biggest problem is having lived abroad.

    Asset rich,cash poor.
    It’s doing my head in.

  139. LB says:

    Little did Daniel Agger know?

    If Daniel Agger expects to happen what I expect to happen Wlshere would have not only been allowed to win that tackle, he would have been allowed to go on and score.

    I jest, of course, I didn’t see the game I was watching Spain – Italy.

  140. kelsey says:

    RA

    same criteria for me not micky, with regards to credit cards.One needs to be back in the country 1 to 3 years even if you have a million in the very same bank or society..

  141. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Seems mad about the c.c’s.

    I have been out the country for almost a decade and still have a UK bank a/c and credit cards, plus they offer me extended credit despite my never using said cards!

    kelsey: As to mortgages …. at your age a rental would be a better proposition 😀

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